Activists call for re-hearing of Barents Sea case
Publish date: 13 February 2018
Issue Number: 543
Diary: Legalbrief Environmental
Category: Climate Change
Environmental groups said last week they had gone to Norway’s Supreme Court to appeal a ruling allowing the Nordic nation, western Europe's largest oil and gas producer, to grant exploration licences in the Arctic. According to a News24 report, in early January, the Oslo District Court dismissed a first case by the Norwegian branch of Greenpeace and Natur og Ungdom (Nature and Youth) which had sued the government for granting exploration licences in the Barents Sea in May 2016. ‘It is crystal clear that the state is violating the Constitution and our right to a healthy environment by allocating new oil deposits,’ Natur og Ungdom leader Gaute Eiterjord said. The environmentalists accuse Norway of violating a new article of the country's Constitution that guarantees since 2014 the right to a healthy environment. But the Oslo court said the state could not be held responsible for CO2 emissions caused by hydrocarbons which it exported to other countries. The NGOs argue that new oil activities in the fragile Arctic region would be contrary to the 2016 Paris Climate Accord, which seeks to limit average global warming to under 2°C. It is up to the Supreme Court to decide whether to accept the case, the report states.